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Preventative Maintenance Checklist

Staying on top of preventative maintenance with a checklist is one of landlord’s and property manager’s most important jobs. Doing so ensures that properties are safe and well maintained. Plus, it helps to build strong landlord-tenant relationships and lets tenants know that the landlord is taking care of the property.  Read more…

Did Your Tenant Let the Pipes Freeze?

Years ago, I leased a small second-floor apartment over a detached garage. They don’t let you do that in my town anymore. I think it has to do with updated building codes and safety rules. Anyway, like most college students, I abandoned my apartment over the holidays for a trip home. I saw what I thought was a good opportunity to save on my utility bills, and turned the heat way down.

Not surprisingly, when I returned, a fountain had formed in one of the garage bays. Freezing temperatures had burst a pipe, sending water gushing across the concrete floor. The event did not endear me to my landlord and, needless to say, I didn’t get my deposit back.

What is an Addendum and How Is It Used?

The Latin word “addendum” appeared more than 230 years ago to define “something added.” Here we are in the early 21st century, and no one on Earth speaks Latin as his or her native language.

Yet, that word, addendum, is still in heavy use to describe something added to a book, to a magazine, to a yearbook, and, yes, to a lease agreement.

Even if you are in that small minority of folks who still remember a few words from long-ago Latin lessons, the use of lease addenda (that’s plural for addendum) may still stump you. So here’s the 411 on that important form.

Rental Property Landscaping Dos and Don’ts

Landlords are some of the busiest people we know. Most have full-time jobs, and many manage their property portfolios with little or no professional help. They're on call for emergency repairs and tenant crises, and they must carve out time to show their rentals, and to meet incoming and outgoing tenants for the before and after walk-through tours.

The absolute last thing the average landlord wants to spend time on is grounds maintenance.

That isn't to say that no landlord cuts the grass at his or her rentals; in fact, many do. However, minimizing labor is essential in order to have time for other important chores, and to ensure that costs (including the landlord's labor or the fee for lawn care services) don't exceed profits.

How Much Rent Should You Charge?

Since rental income is the chief reason people consider buying investment properties, choosing the right rent amount requires a great deal of thought. But how do landlords decide what to charge?

Formerly, they spent weeks scanning newspaper ads for comparable rental units, and seeking advice from market experts. Now, though, anyone with internet access and a calculator can figure it out for themselves.

The two most important considerations in setting an appropriate rent amount are:

• Covering the cost* of owning the property

• Drawing a good pool of tenants